Mortgage delinquencies lowest in 2 years

MBA economist: U.S. has 'turned the corner' in foreclosure crisis

The percentage of mortgage holders who were behind on their payments dropped to the lowest level in two years during the fourth quarter of 2010, the Mortgage Bankers Association said in a report today.

At 8.22 percent, the seasonally adjusted delinquency rate was down from 9.13 percent during the third quarter and 9.47 percent from a year ago.

The percentage of mortgages in foreclosure climbed from 4.39 percent during the third quarter to 4.63 percent during the last three months of the year, matching an all-time high.

Fewer loans are entering the foreclosure pipeline: the percentage of loans only one payment past due — 3.25 percent — was at the lowest level since 2007, and the foreclosure start rate fell from 1.34 percent during the third quarter to 1.27 percent.